January 29, 2017
There is one pick tonight.
Take Arizona State -10.5 spread against Washington State for 3% of the bankroll.
Arizona State is scoring the basketball at a rate not seen at the school in nearly 20 years. They currently rank third in the conference at 81.6 points per game, its highest scoring output since averaging 84.5 for the 1997-98 season. It would be easy to dismiss the ability of this team given their less than stellar record, however we believe this particular matchup is a complete mismatch.
The Sun Devils are currently sitting at 10-11 on the year and this meeting with the Washington State Cougars will give them a chance at a .500 record and simply put, the Cougars have been terrible on the road this season. They have lost their last three games on the road, and have dropped five of their last six games overall. As a team, they are averaging just 62.3 points per game on the road this season, while Arizona State has averaged nearly 86 points per game in their last 5 home games. The Sun Devils will also hold a huge edge in rebounding, which will likely be the difference in this matchup.
Obinna Oleka has been stuck in the unenviable position of having to protect the paint by himself against big teams such as Arizona, UCLA and Utah. He'll face a similar challenge against Josh Hawkinson in this matchup, however Oleka should be highly motivated for this task, especially after producing a season-low two points in Wednesday's win against visiting Washington. We wouldn't be surprised to see a big game from the big man tonight.
Tempe, Arizona also hasn't been a place that has been kind to the Cougars in year's past. They have lost 6 straight to the Sun Devils in this building and have averaged just 59.8 points in those contests. To make matters worse, they have also gone 0-6 against the spread during those meetings as well.
The Sun Devils have struggled with their defensive presence at times this season, however, they have shown that they can light up the scoreboard at a moment's notice. Washington State simply doesn't have the firepower to hang with the Sun Devils while ASU has shown that they can limit the damage caused by the Cougars on the offensive side of the ball. While these teams’ overall records may be similar, the talent and production couldn’t be more different. This game may be close in the early going, but we'll look for Arizona State to pull away in the second half and should go on to win this one rather easily by double digits.
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